Monday 10 February 2014

First Timer's Guide to Fantasy Super Rugby

Tired of a boring Irish Times fantasy rugby that only rewards tries and man of the match performances? Are you already too far ahead or behind your competitors and seeking a new challenge? Super Rugby is starting soon, and the fantasy competition provided by is one of the best I've ever seen. Thinking of having a go? Here are some tips for the first time fantasy rugby player.

Look at the Rules first

(Provided below) Each fantasy competition is different, some reward points for tries and wins, others go into more detail. This is one of those competition. You wouldn't pick a world XV in a fantasy team geared towards tries, just like you don't pick a fantasy team solely to get tries for this fantasy.

Work Rate is key

Players who work hard, who make lots of tackles and lots of runs, the points add up quickly and are worthy additions to your team. Northern Hemisphere equivalents could be Courtney Lawes, Dan Lydiate or Theirry Dusautoir, players who work hard but never score tries. These players would consistently bring points.

Avoid Centres and Scrumhalves

Centres and Scrumhalves are traditionally the lowest scoring positions in the competition. Don't waste valuable budget money on getting expensive ones. Best served elsewhere

Players who play out of position

Players like Steven Luatua last year, who was down as a lock, but played as a blindside flanker, earned huge points as a second row. There is usually one player who plays several positions, and different positions generally give more points.

Pick Players who actually play

Crucial. The biggest problem for team owners is managing the schedule. Not every team plays every week. Plus the comp is long; at 16 weeks plus finals, players will be rotated in and out. You have to make sure that you have 15 guys earning you points every single week. Look ahead at the fixture list and try to avoid obvious conflicts early.

Also beware of picking the big stars, especially in New Zealand. Do you really want to pick Richie McCaw or Kieran Read when they’re likely to be put in cotton wool at the slightest hint of injury? Instead that money might be better spent on someone like Michael Hooper, who will play 80 minutes nearly all season long. Similarly, I’d be pretty wary about picking either Bernard Foley or Kurtley Beale until you get some sense of who’s going to be starting; you’d have to doubt that either of them will be playing a full match every week just at the moment.
Don't avoid weak teams
This competition is ultra competitive, that just because a team is miles down the table doesn't mean they don't have fantasy gems. Ben Smith was a banker last season for the underperforming Highlanders, while Ged Robinson gained huge points playing for the Rebels. (Robinson has since left the Rebels).
Value over Replacement
While Israel Folau is nearly guaranteed to get you mega points, it'll definitely cost you mega bucks. It might be worth going for someone less expensive who could still rake in the points. Some positions have more points depth than others. It's all about what works for you.
During the 2014 Super Rugby season, the players will be allocated a Fantasy point score after each match, based on their performances in the 2014 Super Rugby matches and the scoring system below. Only player performances in official 2014 Super Rugby matches are included in the scoring for Fantasy Super Rugby. The Fantasy points will be calculated using statistics supplied by the Promoter's data provider. The Promoter will not enter into any correspondence relating to the allocation of Fantasy points to players. The Promoter accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of this data and the Promoter's decision is final and binding.

Actions occurring in extra time count towards points scored. Points are awarded as set out in the table below:

Action                                                                                                                                          Points
Playing 1 - 60 minutes                                                                                                                  1
Props that play more than 60 minutes                                                                                            4
Hookers, locks and backrowers that play more than 61 minutes                                                    3
All other positions playing more than 61 minutes                                                                            2
For each try scored by a prop or hooker                                                                                     15
For each try scored by a lock or backrower                                                                                12
For each try scored by a scrum-half, fly-half, centre or outside back                                             10
For each try assist                                                                                                                        5
For each try save                                                                                                                         5
For each conversion                                                                                                                     2
For each conversion miss                                                                                                             -1
For each penalty goal                                                                                                                   3
For each penalty miss                                                                                                                  -1
For each drop goal                                                                                                                       3
For each drop goal miss                                                                                                              -1
Yellow card                                                                                                                                -5
Red card                                                                                                                                     -15
For each run                                                                                                                                 1
For each tackle bust                                                                                                                      2
For each offload                                                                                                                            1
For each linebreak                                                                                                                        5
For each linebreak creates                                                                                                             3
For each error                                                                                                                              -3
For each tackle made by a prop or hooker                                                                                     2
For each tackle made by all other positions                                                                                     1
For each tackle miss                                                                                                                     -2
For each lineout take on own throw                                                                                                1
For each lineout steal on opposition throw                                                                                     4
For each lineout error, includes not straight, throw error or jump error                                           -3
For each tight head won, awarded to entire front row                                                                    7
For each tight head lost, awarded to entire front row                                                                     -3
For each pilfer                                                                                                                              4
For each turn over forced                                                                                                              3
For each penalty - long arm                                                                                                           -4

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